Trying To Focus On What Is Important

This weeks live podcast “We Want Steak But Settle For Spam” tried to answer the question on why when it comes to EMS, it seems we pay more attention and put more energy into topics that really won’t help us as professionals? Like Spam that special meat that satisfies for the moment but not what we really want. It seems more commentary is given to whether we are called ambulance drivers or EMT’s rather than focusing on topics like intubation success, the drugs we use and treatments we give. Sure it’s out there. Just like that nice T Bone steak or fresh lobster. But we settle for the Spam, the stuff that just gets us by, not what really matters and not what we should want as a profession. I wonder what’s your opinion on why this is. What can we do to start targeting the real issues facing the EMS profession?

Show notes

Josh Knapp –

Tim Noonan –

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  1. Having been a major contributor to the Blog Brou-ha-ha over the “ambulance driver” thing as EMSOutside Agitator, I want to re-empasize a couple of my points:

    The term “Ambulance Driver” is only one small component of the point of what I’m trying to make in much the same way that being drivers of ambulances is only one small component of the role that EMTs and Paramedics play.

    We are specialists in Intervention. It once seemed to be Medical but things have changed. We’re stuck in the Hellish place of having to cope with people in true need to get somewhere, but the only place to bring them is ERs and the only people to take them are us. They deserve more outlets; we can help them to get them, but not as ambulance drivers. We’re going to have to become professionals that lobby for change in the systems that serve the populace.

    We still only have one place to bring patients and we haven’t established educational standards high enough to grant us credibility when we ask to design Emergent Medical Systems that work for the people AND us.

    In that, everyone in EMS is going to have to unify and get clear on what is the service that is really provided and get clear on setting universal educational standards and a much more clear system of upward mobility and equal recognition with other vital protection agencies.

    Giving some attention to the name helps us clarify the definition of what we do which then speaks to the Big Picture. of the role we choose to play in health care as a whole. Until EMS gets unified.- and no one is doing this for us – and completely re-defines itself — because “Emergency Medical Technician” is no longer adequate to describe the services performed — it will never attain the credibility and political power other vital protection agencies have.

    In your Podcast time and again references are made to how “Ambulance Driver” is an inadequate if not demeaning term that doesn’t do our duties service. Words ARE important . We need something to be a rallying point for US to start discussing the Big Picture.

    In that, all I’m saying is please don’t marginalize the issue. It is one of many pathways that combined MIGHT turn this into the real profession that everyone envisioned from the beginning.


  1. […] On EMS Office Hours this week, Jim Hoffman, Josh Knapp, and I discuss Trying To Focus On What Is Important. […]

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